Zonta Club of Kowloon addresses workplace sexual harassment

Together with the Hong Kong Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities task force, the Zonta Club of Kowloon, Hong Kong, met with officials from the Equal Opportunities Commission in November. The Equal Opportunities Commission is a statutory body set up by the Hong Kong government. It is responsible for implementing the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance, and the Race Discrimination Ordinance in Hong Kong.

A Survey on Sexual Harassment in Hong Kong from 2021 showed that one in eight ( 11.8%) of the 5,027 respondents reported being sexually harassed at the workplace in the past 24 months. Most victims were harassed by men (66.7%). They were harassed by colleagues of the same rank (44.6%), but more female victims were sexually harassed by someone more senior in rank (30.5%) or by clients. (15.9%).

The meeting focused on sexual harassment in the workplace, and the club explored how NGOs can contribute to solving this issue. The groups agreed that we should encourage corporations, especially Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), to establish sexual harassment policies, set up frameworks for internal complaints and investigation and establish staff training in their own companies. They also discussed the issue of how to generate more awareness on this issue in their community, as well as organizing public educational programs. There will likely be joint advocacy activities on this issue during International Women’s Day in March 2023.

The photo above shows participants of the Equal Opportunities Commission meeting, with Ricky Chu Man-Kin, Chairperson of the Equal Opportunity Commission and his team, Winnie Teoh, Chair of Advocacy Committee of Zonta Club of Kowloon and other Zontians, as well as Sisi Liu together with the seven NGOs under the Hong Kong Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities – Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centres, Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions, Progressive Labor Union of Domestic Workers in Hong Kong, The Association of the Advancement of Feminism, Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association, Hong Kon Young Women’s Christian Association, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women.

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